Thursday, August 3, 2017

The Thing About Birthday Cakes

I came across something interesting this afternoon, and thought it worth sharing.

Remember how - when you were little, and you had a birthday, somebody would make/buy a birthday cake?  And there would be candles on top of the birthday cake -- one for each year, of course.

And those candles would be lit... and then you'd try to blow all the candles out in one breath.

And you'd succeed, of course .. even if you had to cheat just a little... and everyone would clap.  Then the cake would be cut into pieces, and the pieces would be passed around, and everybody would eat birthday cake.

And then everyone would get deathly ill.

Oh wait --- that's NOT how your birthdays went?  Gee, that's not how my birthdays went, either.

Well, maybe we were just lucky.

I mean, really... think about it.  We no longer cover our noses and mouths with our hands when we sneeze or cough, because it's been determined that it's more sanitary to sneeze/cough into our own elbow, or arm.  So why on earth would we put food in front of someone and say to them.. "Ok, now, I want you to blow on this food, as hard as you can...for several seconds.  And if the candles aren't all blown out, then either you can sneak a little breath and blow some more, or else... I know!!  We'll ALL blow on this food.  And THEN.. we'll all eat it.

Well now you can quit worry about this unhealthy practice, because there's a guy who filed a patent for a "Sanitary birthday cake cover and candle system".  It's a thing that goes over the cake.. and the cover has these indentations for the candles.. so you can put the candles in the indentations without them ever touching the cake, and then you can blow out the candles and remove the cover  and Voila!  you've got a germ-free cake.

Wow.  What a concept.
Yet, try as I might, I can't seem to find a place to purchase a sanitary birthday cake cover and candle system.  And it's not just because this is a new idea.. the patent was filed in 2008.  There have even been six more patent applications by different people for slight variations on the original patent.. the most recent being just six months ago.

And yet somehow, this idea hasn't caught on.

Hmmm.. I detect a note of skepticism in your eye.. a bit of a raised eyebrow at this silly discussion. Don't be quite so quick to dismiss the concern. In 2013, Australia's National Health and Medical Research Council declared that children should no longer be allowed to blow out candles on a birthday cake, and suggested that if parents wish to give their child the traditional experience, they should provide a separate cupcake with a candle.

Well...  after some pondering, I've decided that I'm willing to take my chances on birthday cake germs.  For all we know, frosting is some magical antibacterial that no one knows about... because - think about it... Have you ever heard of a bunch of people  - children or adults - getting sick after eating birthday cake?  Of course not.

So I'm going to continue eating birthday cake - whether or not it's had candles, and whether or not those candles have been lit, and then blown out.  And of course with my cake, I'll have some tea.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Summer is here!

Haven't blogged a lot, lately.  I discovered that too many ideas for my blog posts, and too many of my actual posts, were political.  That's not what I want this blog to be... so I took a break.

BUT!  Summer is here... a time for new beginnings .. a time to start over.

How do I know summer is here?  Well, I suppose I could check with the local group of druids  (except that they died off, years ago)..  or I could take a peek at Stonehenge  (no.. wouldn't have to go to England for that, there are two dozen stonehenges in the US).. or I could check any one of a large number of sources, which would indicate that summer began last week.  But I prefer a more naturalistic approach.

Last week, I came home, pulled into my usual spot alongside the driveway, and shut off the engine. Suddenly, a bunny hopped out from the shrubs and ran in front of my car, and into the woods.  A bunny!  Some years we see bunnies, some years we do not.. but this was the first bunny of the year. I'd post a picture except -- come on, bunnies are fast!  So you'll have to take my word for it... but you know what a bunny looks like.

The very next morning, as I stood at the bathroom sink brushing my teeth, I looked out the window and saw a small deer eating grass.  A deer!  I raced downstairs to get to my phone and a door without a screen.. and snapped some photos... including a picture of the deer eating the lower branches of my cherry tree.  Sigh.  Yes, I had seen the damage to the branches and leaves.. and now I knew the cause for certain.  The deer spent quite some time browsing the backyard greenery.  And I spent quite some time watching the deer.

Watching the deer made me a bit late.. but a block from the house I had to let a wild turkey and about half a dozen turkey chicks cross the road!  I would have taken the time to snap a picture, but I was running late.  As I drove by... I realized that the turkey and chicks were crossing the road -- not just to get to the other side, but to join another wild turkey, with perhaps a dozen chicks!  Truly, there was a yard full of little baby turkey chicks!  Sadly, I did not get a picture.  I realize you might not know what turkey chicks look like.. they're similar to chicken chicks.. but different.  So I've hunted high and low  (well, not really, I just typed a few search terms)  to find the following pic .. which is pretty close to what I saw.. if you double this.

So -- If signs from Mother Nature come in 3s... there you have it.  Three animal sightings in less than 24 hours.
What did I tell you?  Summer is here!

And so am I.  Happy to be back in my blog
Just in case you wondered... I always drink tea, whether I'm blogging or not.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Patriot(s) and apostrophes

I live in Massachusetts... which means that today - the third Monday in April - is Patriot's Day.

Or - wait...  is it Patriots Day, Patriot's Day, or Patriots' Day?

Those of you who know me, know that a misplaced apostrophe is one of my biggest pet peeves.  I was recently on a website where one of the tabs was labeled Birthday's...  and if I could, I would have hacked into their website and removed the offensive and inappropriate apostrophe.  So as this quasi-holiday approached, I found myself wondering what the correct name was.  Yes, I've lived in Massachusetts for many years, but I rarely write the name of the day.. and when you say the day out loud, it doesn't really matter where the apostrophe is.  But now that the question had occurred to me, I really wanted needed to know if there was an apostrophe, and if so, where it belonged.

So of course I took to my friends Google and Wikipedia.  I found some really interesting information, and discovered the cause of my confusion.

As I already knew, Patriots' Day celebrates the Battles of Lexington and Concord... which were the first battles of the revolutionary war. There's a re-enactment of the battle every year (actually two.. one in Lexington, and one in Concord), and it includes the ride of Paul Revere.  And I also knew that the holiday is technically on April 19th.. but like so many other holidays, it was shifted to a Monday  (another one of my peeves, although a minor one). And of course I know that the Boston Marathon is run on Patriots' Day.  And I knew that the Boston Marathon had been run on that day, for over a hundred years.

But that still left the question of the apostrophe.

Here's the answer ---

Patriot Day is the anniversary of 9/11/2001

Patriots Day is the name of the movie about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing

Patriot's Day is the name of the Maine holiday celebrating the Lexington Concord battles, and is also the name of the holiday in Tennessee.

Patriots' Day is the name of the holiday celebrating the battles, in Massachusetts and Wisconsin.

The Florida state legislature has recognized Patriots' Day (April 19) as "one of great historical significance" and encourages people to 'commemorate' the day, although it's not an official holiday.

And not to leave out my Canadian friends (even the coffee-drinking ones!), Canada celebrates National Patriots' Day on the Monday preceding May 25.

What does all of this mean?  Well among other things, it means that this is one situation where I'm going to give you a pass, whether you leave off the S, use the S but no apostrophe, or use the apostrophe in one of two different places.

Yes, this is a great day of celebration.... because it's not often that I give people a pass on apostrophes.
And -- like any celebration -- it deserves a good cup of tea.  So I'm off to enjoy my typhoo tea, and I hope you enjoy this day as well.